recommendations: January 2007 Archives

John Gross, Dave Frishberg, Charlie Doggett, Strange Feeling (Diatic Records). Gross, the outside tenor saxophonist; Frishberg, the inside pianist; and Doggett, the adaptable young drummer, meet on the common ground of a brilliantly assembled repertoire. The pieces are by Ellington, Strayhorn, Monk, Cohn, Davis, Brookmeyer and McFarland. Gross is calm in his delivery of solos that burn with convincing ideas. Frishberg is a foil for Gross's daring excursions and a soloist of forthrightness, whimsy and a powerful left hand. This one is a sleeper.

January 26, 2007 1:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Fats Waller, If you Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It (Bluebird/Legacy). This is not a comprehensive Waller set, but a well chosen three-disc survey of the stride pianist whose song writing, singing and irrepressible personality made him an American favorite son in the 1930s and early '40s. Even listeners who have the seventeen CDs Bluebird released toward the end of the last century will want this box because of the 98-page booklet. The photographs, the introduction by producer Orrin Keepnews and the masterly notes by Dan Morgenstern make it one of the best studies of Waller. The music, from 1926 ("St. Louis Blues") to 1942 ("Jitterbug Waltz") is sublime.

January 26, 2007 1:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Paul Carlon Octet, Other Tongues (Deep Tone). From Red Norvo to James Moody, Ray Charles, Rod Levitt, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz and Bill Kirchner, I'm a sucker for medium-sized ensembles supported by resourceful writing. To the list add this octet of New Yorkers led by saxophonist and flutist Carlon. The orientation is Latin, the arranging at once economical and adventurous. Billy Strayhorn's "Smada" becomes a danzón, Emily Dickinson's poem "A Certain Slant of Light" inspires a pointillist reverie, "Boogie Down Broder" a rambunctious trombone fiesta. And there's this encouraging disclaimer: "NO jazz musicians were harmed in the manufacture of this recording."

January 26, 2007 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Amalia Rodrigues: The Spirit of Fado (MVD World Music Talents). Rodrigues was the leading interpreter of fado, the moody music that expresses Portugal's national preoccupation with fate. In fado at its best there is a commonality with jazz in the give-and-take among the perfomer and the guitar accompanists. Rodrigues could be as moving as Billie Holiday or Edith Piaf. In the form of a documentary, the film traces her career to her death in 1999 at age 79. The logy script does not diminish the glories of Rodrigues' singing. The menu gives the viewer the option of isolating her performances from the pompous narration.

January 26, 2007 1:02 AM | | Comments (0)

Louis Armstrong, Satchmo: My Life In New Orleans (Da Capo). A friend asked me recently, "What's the best book about Louis Armstrong?" It may turn out to be the one Terry Teachout is writing, I said. I told him about Armstrong biographies by Gary Giddins, Laurence Bergreen, James Lincoln Collier, Max Jones-John Chilton and others, all with their strengths. But I suggested that if he had not read Armstrong's own account of his youth, that would be the place to start. This modest little autobiography is honest, conversational and true to the man's style as one of the positive, uplifting figures of our time.

January 26, 2007 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from January 2007.

recommendations: December 2006 is the previous archive.

recommendations: March 2007 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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